AARC Tip of the Month | December 2019 | View as Webpage
toy airplane with trail of ornaments and presents behind
In many parts of our state, there’s snow on the ground, and that means that holiday travel season is upon us! Here are some tips and resources for preparing yourself or your child with autism for a new travel experience. For an in-depth look at these topics, check out our 50-minute on demand video training: Pre-Teaching Travel Skills
  • Routines, tasks, and new activities: It is important for individuals to understand how to complete new and complex tasks.
  • Expected and Unexpected Behaviors (what is expected or unexpected in a social situation): For example, what are the expected behaviors when sitting on an airplane? What might you not want to do in TSA screening? We want individuals to be set up for success and this can be an important piece to lessen the likelihood of difficult situations before they happen.
  • Communication Safety: It is important to have a way for individuals - particularly those who use alternative communication modes or limited communication in stressful situations - to communicate contact information, needs, etc. Having a card with information about your child, safety bracelets with contact or medical alert information, or a communication safety book can be helpful. A communication safety book has common questions the individual may need to answer if they are separated from a caregiver. The book may include pictures.
  • Showing the Passage of Time: Time is a very abstract concept that can be difficult for some individuals to understand. Using visual timers and other visual cues can be very helpful.
  • Task Analysis is a strategy used to break down the steps of a task to make it easier to manage. This can be written in the form of a checklist, a strip of pictures, or in other ways, such as pictures on a key chain. You might use task analysis for travel activities such as going through an airport or train station, packing for a trip, breaking down activities on a trip, or any sort of multi-step activity or task. For more training on task analysis, visit:
  • https://www.mysesadl.org/lessons/alaska-autism-resource-center/ or
  • https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/task-analysis
  • Social Narratives are used to prepare individuals for upcoming or novel events. It is important when using social narratives to not just read the story, but teach the contents and pair with other strategies such as modeling and task analysis. Training on using social narratives is available here: https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/social-narratives. Examples of when you might use social stories would be visiting a new place or new people, changes in routine, new activities, or teaching expected behaviors.
  • Video Modeling can be helpful in teaching new routines or activities. Here are some examples of video modeling in an airport: http://www.modelmekids.com/autism_airplane.html. For more training on video modeling, visit https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/video-modeling.
  • We provide free copies of “Going through an Airport”: a video modeling DVD. We also have a limited number of “Going through an Airport” task analysis keychains and social narratives available upon request. Please email aarc@sesa.org to request these items.
  • Tips from TSA: TSA has specific information and procedures for individuals with disabilities broken down by categories, and also has shared some helpful videos. Check it out on the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures
  • Alaska Airlines has a new free app called Fly for All that has a variety of tools available, including social narratives for before, during, and after the flight, an editable picture schedule, a picture-based communication app, visual reminders, games, tips, and much more! There are also easy and advanced versions of the app.
We wish you safe travels and happy holidays!
AARC will be closed

December 16th, 2019 - January 3rd, 2020

We will reopen on Monday, January 6th.

Enjoy a warm and loving holiday season!
Resources of the Month
The resources of the month are available in the Special Education Service Agency (SESA) Library. Search for items on the   SESA website , or contact the librarian, Anne Freitag, at   afreitag@sesa.org   or 907-334-1301 

Electronic books may be accessed from anywhere in the state. If you've used our ebooks before,   go to the login  page here.  If you haven't, please contact Anne so she can set up a username and password for you.   Learn more about ebooks here .
Dangerous Encounters: Avoiding perilous situations with autism: a streetwise guide for all emergency responders, retailers, and parents
By: Bill Davis and Wendy Goldband Schunick
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002. ISBN: 9780585481302
Description: Most emergency workers know very little about autism. This book explains what to look for and how to successfully handle encounters with people who have autism. It takes emergency responders and parents through everyday situations, stressing safety and awareness. This helps avoid the many problems that have and do arise when encountering autism in emergencies. In addition, this book is aimed at retailers and retail security, as people with autism can look extremely suspicious in shops. For instance, a person with autism may well start to rearrange CDs or books by color. This can leave a wrong impression on a retailer who hasn't encountered autism before and lead to the police being called. Both professionals and parents can work to prevent escalating situations. If given proper education, serious situations can be avoided when a person with autism is involved. This book contains practical appendices, such as emergency ID card instructions and how to make a travel communication safety book, as well as safety social stories that teach a person with autism how to act safely in emergency situations. It outlines a number of steps everyone can take and guidelines that can be followed. It is also a good training tool for emergency responders.
This is also available as an ebook.
The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Asperger's Syndrome : H elp, hope, and guidance
By: William Stillman
Adams Media, 2005. ISBN: 1593371535
Description: This book for parents covers a wide variety of topics, including vacationing and travel.
The Independent Woman's Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum
By: Robyn Steward
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014. ISBN: 9781849053990
Description: In the same way that seatbelts give added protection to drivers, allowing them to travel safely wherever they choose to go, this practical book will help protect women on the autistic spectrum to negotiate risks and dangers as they live independent lives. Certain traits common to autism such as difficulty interpreting social cues can leave women susceptible to compromising their personal safety. Advocating that no woman on the autistic spectrum should be scared to enjoy independence provided she has the right knowledge and coping strategies in place, this book is filled with practical advice (for ages 16 plus) on how to stay safe while living life to the full. Informed by a survey of women on and off the autistic spectrum, it gets to the heart of the specific safety challenges faced by women, and offers numerous easy-to-use strategies to help avoid and overcome them. Topics covered include friendships, relationships and sex, alcohol and drugs, money and employment, and staying safe outside of the home and online. This will be a trusted and empowering companion for women on the spectrum and will also be valuable and insightful reading for anyone who cares for a woman on the spectrum, including their families, friends and teachers.
Life and Love: Positive strategies for autistic adults
By: Zosia Zaks with foreward by Temple Grandin
Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2006. ISBN: 9781931282932 
Description: "Written for adults on the spectrum and those involved - parents, spouses, friends - this book is divided into two sections: life and love. In the life section, the author describes and suggests concrete ways to deal with some of the issues and problems faced by those on the autism spectrum. Examples include how to accommodate sensory issues, maintain a home, and manage a career. In the love section, instead of focusing on one topic, the author includes a broad spectrum of suggestions for different types of relationships and weaves these together with the core concept of self-esteem."--publisher's website.
Raising Martians: From crash-landing to leaving home: how to help a child with Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism
By: Joshua Muggleton
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012. ISBN: 9780857005236
Description: Provides tips and guidance for parents of children with Asperger syndrome and high functioning autism, based on the author's personal experiences with Asperger syndrome, and covering friendships and social situations; anxiety; sensory issues; school; bullying; and related topics.
The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Proven systems for rigid, anxious, or distracted kids
By: Carolyn Dalgliesh
Touchstone, 2013. ISBN: 9781451664287 
Description: Presents solutions and proven systems for parents of children with sensory processing disorder, anxiety disorder, ADD/ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, and OCD that bridge the gap between clinical support and practical in-home solutions. Includes a chapter on travel.
Top Ten Tips: A survival guide for families with children on the autism spectrum
By: Teresa A. Cardon
Autism Asperger Pub. Co., 2008. ISBN: 1934575305 
Description: This book is meant to be a quick and helpful tool for navigating your way through everyday activities and occurrences when you live with a child with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Includes travel and holiday information.
Travelling on the Autism Spectrum
By: Garry Burge
Garry Burge, 2017. ISBN: 9780244013646
Description: "As an adult on the Autism Spectrum, Garry Burge has been fortunate to have travelled quite extensively overseas, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. Although travel may seem a distant possibility for many adults on the Autism Spectrum, Garry hopes that this book will provide encouragement, not only for them but also for travel providers, travel agents and other organisations."
Alaska Autism Resource Center | 866-301-7372 | aarc@sesa.org | www.AlaskaARC.org